Gympie’s Paul Smith wraps up a Kawana player during the Devil’s loss at the weekend.
Gympie’s Paul Smith wraps up a Kawana player during the Devil’s loss at the weekend. Craig Abbott

Dolphins knock Devils off top spot

DEVILS' coach John Greensill praised the younger players of his A-grade line-up yesterday following the side's 20-10 loss against competition powerhouse Kawana.

The eleventh round clash Saturday at Jack Stokes was fierce with both teams chasing top spot on the Caloundra RSL Cup ladder.

Greensill said the Devils were in doubt from the onset when key fullback Ben Santowski broke his ankle in the opening minutes.

"Ben is a big asset in our attacking play and to lose him so early in the game was hard," Greensill said.

"Thankfully we had under-18 player Jake McClay fill his boots and although he isn't naturally a fullback, he had an impressive game after playing a full match for his U18 side."

Coming through the grassroots of Gympie Devils Rugby League, McClay, 17, said it was an awesome experience to play A-grade.

"It was great to receive the call-up for the A-grade boys. Even though I never really play fullback, I adapted as best I could," he said.

"I really hope I can play some more games for them this year and help them to a win."

With McClay's talent in plentiful supply, his future appears bright.

Among the youngsters who Greensill praised were Jack Morris, Max Carlton, Nathan Boatfield and Paul Smith.

"Jack did well to mark up on a Queensland representative in Kawana's line-up and Paul is always playing good football," Greensill said.

"Paul had one of the standout performances on Saturday and has made the step-up into the A-grade run on side this season."

It won't get easier for the Devils this weekend when they take on Bribie Island without Kris Kahler and potentially other key players.

"Kurt Fleming had a knee injury on Saturday but we don't know how bad it is yet," Greensill said.

"This weekend's game will be hard but I'm sure the boys will be eager to come away with a win after Saturday's loss."

Bribie Island will come into the game searching for redemption after going down 16-28 against fourth place Caboolture.

With Gympie and Bribie tied second on the ladder, the competition will be fierce in this weekend's match with crucial series points on the line.

Gympie Times


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